Volume 16 - Issue 11
November 2018
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Posted on: Nov 10, 2018

Bhajans - The Royal Highway

Part 2

Go to Part 1

Call out to the Lord, call out musically and also call out loudly!



Every person, even if one doesn’t sing otherwise, should follow the singer and sing; it is very good. But some people’s mouths do not move at all. They say they are singing within. That does not give the right kind of satisfaction. In the kitchen all the dishes are prepared and kept ready. But if the food is there in kitchen, does it reach your stomach? When you have such feeling it must also reach and be expressed through your lips and tongue. That is Sankirtana. Samyak-kirtanam itihi Sankirtanam (statement also means, singing well and singing properly is Sankirtanam) That means opening the voice fully and singing as loud as one can. Only then it will melt the heart of God. Then alone can He rescue you.

A man who has fallen in a well if he says (muttering to himself), “I have fallen in the well, I have fallen in the well,” nobody will come to his rescue. When he shouts full throated, “Oh, I have fallen in the well,” then only someone will come to his rescue. Therefore, singing must be done freely without any inhibitions of ego or attachments.

Why has mouth been given? Do you know why it is given? Is it for handing the morsels of food to mouth? Do you know why hands are given? Is it for doing mad things? No, it is for worshipping the God. Why are legs given do you know? Is it to roam the lanes and bylanes? No, no, no; it is for going around the temple of God. Do you know why ears are given? Is it to hear gossip about others? No, no, no; it is for hearing the name of God. Do you know why eyes are given? Not for seeing three cinemas a day or for watching television. It is for seeing the beautiful form of the Lord. Therefore the purpose of all this is, sanctifying the sense organs, purifying the mind and with purity of heart singing the glory of God.

Hence, embodiments of Love, the sweetness that is present in singing the name of God, and the benefits there of cannot be extolled sufficiently by anyone. As much devotion and reverence with which you chant the name, so much will be the bliss it yields. As is the dough so is the bread; as is the food so is the belch!

Therefore, the more you sing with feeling the more insight you get. Therefore, all people should put in efforts to sing the name of the Lord in unison. The whole world consists of the five life elements, water, earth, sound, fire and air; today all these are polluted. Pure water is hard to get. There is no pure air. There is no pure sound; there is no pure earth - everything is polluted. The Kali Yugam has become Kalmasha Yugam, an age of impurities. If you want to purify it, chanting the name of God is the only way.

- Divine Discourse, March 03, 1992

No one is too great or too small to take the name of the Lord. So why hesitate?

Valmiki wrote Ramayana. After writing it, he gathered all the disciples and began deliberating as to who will take this significant, divine, auspicious and sacred story of Rama to every street, to every home and cover every inch of space?

The sages were disappointed. “Master! Our age is ripe. Our life span is coming to an end. We do not have the physical strength to go from street to street propagating the story of Rama.” When they said this Valmiki was a bit disappointed. When this conversation was in progress, Lava and Kusa came there. “Master! We heard the conversation between you and other rishis till now. Give us this task to complete it.” They said. Who are they? They are princes, they are disciples of sages. Being such individuals, they, holding the tampura, wearing markings on their foreheads and carrying the cymbals, went singing from street to street. Can anybody do like that today?

People feel embarrassed that if they go somewhere and sing a bhajan aloud, others will rebuke and make fun saying, “O he is singing bhajans too!” People fear that if they wear vibhuti on the forehead, others will say mockingly, “Oh, he is a devotee of Sai Baba!” While doing bhajans if one keeps beat, people ridicule by saying, “oh he too has become an embodiment of bhajans?” People today are giving away their life to such pride and attachments. The day we give up ego and attachments, the prosperity in society will multiply. You must give up ego and attachment. As long as they are there, you cannot chant the Lord’s name. Why should we have the fear of what others would say? How many deeds you do are not supposed to be indulged in? You are not afraid then. To chant the sacred name of the Lord, to sing songs on God, to teach matters relating to God, why fear? You must fear the wrong but never be afraid for doing the right. This is why the world today is subject to such turmoil.

- Divine Discourse, April 05, 1998

Practice remembering God and taking His name from a young age.



When youngsters chant God's name and participate in nagarsankirtan singing bhajans, some elders too are surprised. They say, “Why chant God’s name in such a young age? After being done with your career, after retirement, you will have all the time you want, then you can indulge in as much spiritual activities as you want, and think of God isn't it?” To chant God’s name is there a particular time or circumstance? Always, at all times and places, think of God. There is no childhood, youth or old age for this. There is no age that is too early for chanting God’s name. The body may be that of a child, but the births are many. So we should not go by the age of the body alone.

When the noose is cast by the servitors of God of death,
When people give up all hope and ask to put the body outside,
When wife and children start sobbing,
Is it possible to chant the name of the Lord?

The plight of the people who wait till old age will be like this. When the soldiers of the God of death put a noose and hurry you to follow, the relatives give up hope and ask the body to be put outside, when the wife and children cry and weep, will namasmarana (thoughts of God’s name) come to you at that time? It will not come. Chanting done during one's life time alone will come to one's aid at the time of death. If in this life time you do not perform this ideal task of thinking of God, when will you be an ideal? Therefore, in this life time itself you must be an ideal by chanting Lord’s name. This alone will bring perfection in the end. It will confer joy and grant redemption.

In a temple, for many years there was a priest who offered worship. Because of many years of practice, holding the plate of arathi in one hand and ringing the bell with another hand he used to give arathi and worship the lord. What is the reason? Practising from a long time, giving arathi with one hand and ringing the bell with another, is possible. That priest passed away and a new priest was appointed. That priest, when he would offer arathi, the ringing of the bell would stop, while ringing the bell, the offering of arathi would stop. He was not ringing the bell according to the arathi. What is the reason? The main reason is that he does not have previous practise. From childhood unless you practise chanting the name of the god, it is not possible to utter the name in old age.

- Divine Discourse, April 22, 1998

The atmosphere gets sanctified when we sing the name of God.

So, put efforts in chanting the name of the Lord. Some people may think, 'What is this, if we go to Sai Baba there is bhajans and bhajans alone.' There is nothing greater than bhajan. How much bliss there is, in bhajans! What a demonstration of unity it is when a myriad throats join in uttering the name of God! The vibrations emanating from them make the heart vibrant. If you sing alone in your shrine, the vibrations return to you as reaction. But in community singing, what you have is not a reaction but a wave of vibrations. They enter into the atmosphere and purify even the polluted air. The atmosphere today is polluted by bad thoughts and feelings. When the name of God merges with the atmosphere, it acts like antibiotics, killing the negativity and producing pure air. Even a dying person can think of the name 'Rama'. Be it a pauper or a rich person, there is no discrimination in this. Whether one is educated or one is unlettered, all can chant the name of God. Therefore, sing the name of the Lord and redeem your lives!

- Divine Discourse, October 23, 1994

Spreading the glory of bhajans is in itself a key form of service

We must put in efforts to develop the bhajan centres and practice singing the bhajans. Listening to the bhajans sung melodiously the heart can be filled with ecstasy. When songs are sung out of tune and off rhythm, the heart will become gloomy. If you wish to give the joy and overwhelm the hearts of many, we must sing bhajans with a sanctified voice and extol the lord; then that heart will experience much joy. Community singing must be proliferated. We must develop the training of bhajan singing too. The elders are like mature and old trees. It is not possible to bend these trees. If we train and develop small children from today, then they will become ideal spiritual torchbearers of this country Bharat, in future. We must develop Balvikas also. Bhajan centres need to be developed extensively too.

- Divine Discourse, November 21, 1987

However, always remember that the bhajans you sing are for your own benefit first and foremost

Embodiments of Love! You are doing bhajans. What for do you do bhajans? You think that you are doing it for God. God does not need anything! Your bhajan makes you happy. And this happiness will spread to ten people around you. God does not need anything. He is embodiment of everything. He is the very embodiment of bliss. When He is ever blissful, why does He need other (sources of) happiness? He does not need all these imaginary happiness. The eternal bliss within manifests as the happiness felt in the heart. For the embodiment of eternal bliss, what is the use of such imaginary happiness? (Swami would say that we all have the eternal spring of happiness within us. Events and actions bring out this happiness from within and feel it. God is the very embodiment of that eternal happiness.) By doing bhajans, the heart too is purified. The heart finds fulfilment in the worship.

- Divine Discourse, March 16, 2003

Knowing that we sing God’s name and glories for our own redemption, do not forget the most important ingredient and the best way to see if you are getting better at it

Music boys need to be very careful. As much as you sing, there must be transformation in the feelings too. Along with the tune, there must be improvement in feelings of the heart too. Without feelings, even if you sing well and majestically, I do not like to listen to it. Make your heart good and then sing anything, it will make Me happy. Truly speaking, if you purify your heart, Raga and Tala (melody and rhythm) will automatically come.

Kabir said at one point of time, “Ram, I am unable to practice Yoga, I am unable to meditate, I am unable to do japa. So it is impossible for me to come near You. This body which is made up of the five elements is filled with many diseases. So I cannot reach You (with this body). But I have one thing in my possession. You cannot escape that. I will bind You with that. Are You wondering how I will bind You? I have rope of Love. With that rope of love I will tie and bind You.” Then Rama appeared and said, “My dear child! I am attained only through that (love) and nothing else.”

With that rope of love we can certainly achieve anything. So, have love, develop love, become suffused with love and become love. That way, your life becomes a life of love. When you sing, do not pay mere attention only to Raga and Tala. Have love within and sing, you will see that the right shruti (pitch and tune) comes automatically. You may experiment and see for yourself.

Without love, there will only be apaswara (cacophony). So sing with love, everything else like sruti, laya and tala (melody and rhythm) will fall in place.

- Divine Discourse, February 15, 1998

Let there be no discrimination in singing the divine name. And beware, He is observing!



I have been observing keenly. When girls are singing none of the boys are following. When boys are singing girls did not follow. Both are singing God’s name isn’t it? Why shouldn’t you join together and sing and spread more joy? How selfish is this! What narrow mindedness it is! How worldly! It should not be like this. It is music even if a great musician is singing.

Emperor Akbar while going out, sitting under a tree a beggar was singing a song. The beggar’s song touched and moved Akbar’s heart. He stopped the chariot. He listened to it very happily. He shed tears of joy. His heart was immersed in joy. We must spend our lives in singing the songs that please the Lord and help us develop love for God. These songs may be sung by a beggar or a great maestro. But it's a song (in praise of God) nevertheless; the bliss is bliss; the sweetness is sweetness (the bliss and sweetness experienced should be one and the same). There is no difference of gender in this. The male and female difference exists at the body level but not with music. All sing the name of the Lord. Therefore, we must immerse our minds in the name and sublimate it. When you do not immerse yourself thus, the bhajan singing becomes a worldly act. In future inject spirituality into these worldly acts and sing. Then alone you will get the right kind of happiness. You should not foster any differences. In what? In music and in prayer to God. In worldly affairs each can do their own work.

- Divine Discourse, March 08, 1997

Singing unitedly is one grand opportunity to draw God’s grace on all. Don’t miss it.

Earlier people used to sing bhajans individually. The guru of Sikhs, Guru Nanak, started collective singing. All voices must merge as one. Then God will be drawn by that. See, this is cloth. Many threads woven together make this cloth sturdy. When separated as individual threads, they can be cut with fingers. Therefore, collective singing of bhajans is so secure. When all voices and feelings unite and sing, the opportunity to attract the Lord is so much more. So in future too in bhajans, no matter who is singing, you must also sing along, gain the sacred joy and immerse in the ocean of joy - hoping and wishing for that, I bring My discourse to an end.

- Divine Discourse, March 08, 1997

Having received such immense inspiration from Bhagawan, let us take part in this Akhanda Bhajan wholeheartedly, singing full-throated and most importantly, singing with unalloyed love. And even as we do so, let us pray that our bhajan truly becomes Akhanda or unbroken, so we may revel and rejoice in the bliss of Sankirtan till the very last breath and beyond!

Radio Sai Team

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